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The Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor has marked July 11, as the scheduled date for local rugby competition to kick-start however that would only be possible once the Government gives the green light.
However, the Return to Play Protocol will come in place four weeks before the kick-off date to ensure the safety and welfare of the players.
The FRU has set its contingency plans and protocols that would ensure the Vodafone Cup, Bainimarama Shield, Skipper Cup and Farebrother trophy competitions to be held accordingly with no setbacks despite the Covid-19 crisis.
“We have planned and scheduled July 11, as the kick-off date for all local rugby competitions for the B divisions and the Premier grades however that will only take place if the Return to Play Protocol is followed and only when the Ministry of Health gives the okay sign to start the competition.
“The minimum time a player should be ready for contact sports is four weeks so when the restrictions are lifted and we are allowed to train, we give players at least four weeks to prepare themselves physically and mentally before the competition kicks off.
“We also have the Return to Play Protocol for government requirements if they want us to consider the number of spectators, whether physical distancing is still required and what measure are taken to ensure the safety of the spectators and the players,” said O’Connor.
The Rugby House has planned ahead if social distancing remains an issue during the competitions.
“If social distancing continues to be in place after the competition is approved then we will try to negotiate to the television stations, to which the broadcasting rights will be given to air the games live while fans and spectators watch from the comfort of their homes.
“I thank the sponsors for standing by our side during this crisis and they will make it possible for us and the unions to start the competition.
“If the kick-off date is July 11, then we will be able to complete all matches in all grades by October,” said O’Connor.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
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